The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and structures, why heterogeneity persists, and why competitors perform differently. The present study applies complexity theory tenets and a “neo-configurational perspective” of Misangyi et al. (2016) in proposing complex antecedent conditions affecting complex outcome conditions. Rather than examining variable directional relationships using null hypotheses statistical tests, the study examines case-based conditions using somewhat precise outcome tests (SPOT). The complex outcome conditions include firms with high financial performances in declining markets and firms with low financial performances in growing markets – the study focuses on seemingly paradoxical outcomes. The study here examines firm strategies and outcomes for separate samples of cross-sectional data of manufacturing firms with headquarters in one of two nations: Finland (n = 820) and Hungary (n = 300). The study includes examining the predictive validities of the models. The study contributes conceptual advances of complex firm orientation configurations and complex firm performance capabilities configurations as mediating conditions between firmographics, firm resources, and the two final complex outcome conditions (high performance in declining markets and low performance in growing markets). The study contributes by showing how fuzzy-logic computing with words (Zadeh, 1966) advances strategic management research toward achieving requisite variety to overcome the theory-analytic mismatch pervasive currently in the discipline (Fiss, 2007, 2011) – thus, this study is a useful step toward solving the crucial problem of how to explain firm heterogeneity.
Nagy, G., Megehee, C.M. and Woodside, A.G. (2018), "Computing with Words in Modeling Firms’ Paradoxical Performances", Improving the Marriage of Modeling and Theory for Accurate Forecasts of Outcomes (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 155-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-096420180000025008
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